Friday, February 2, 2018

High Country News on "rural white scorn" (or, we are all angry, rural whites)

I rarely see the High Country News in print, but this month was an exception.  They sent me a hard copy of the January 22 issue because I'm quoted in the story about the "State of Jefferson," a feature I wrote about here on Legal Ruralism and here on Working Class Whites and the Law.

What I noticed in that hard copy that I might otherwise have missed is this editorial:  the movements produced by white scorn.  It draws parallels between the Bundys (of Malheur and Sagebrush Rebellion-esque fame in Nevada) and the State of Jefferson movement, but then goes beyond those more obvious commonalities.

I'll excerpt part of the editorial here, a part that cleverly challenges liberal elites (the sort who support the High Country News and generally assume they are a world away from rural white folk)  to think about what they have in common with disgruntled rural white folk:
Both of these stories, which took place more than 700 miles apart, reflect a dangerous undercurrent: the simmering scorn of rural white America, which is feeling increasingly disempowered in this cultural moment. The Bundys, the Jefferson separatists, and a wide swath of working-class whites feel left out of the conversation, as national policies, cultural changes and global markets leave them behind. Their resentment helped bring Donald Trump to power, gave the Bundys a form of legitimacy and coincides with the more dangerous movements of white supremacy and white nationalism.

However, rather than dismiss the Bundyites and Jeffersonians out of hand, we might be better served, one year into the Trump presidency, by asking whether or not we are all in the same boat after all. If you are not one of the elite 1 percent that holds 40 percent of U.S. wealth, and if you are not represented by the corporate interests that dominate our politics, is it possible you have more in common with these folks than you think?
I think these comments are pretty clever from an ally-ship, political coalition building standpoint.  It challenges us to think what we liberal elites have in common with the disgruntled, rural and white movement.

Cross Posted to Working Class Whites.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

High Country News... among many very biased media sources that keep bringing race into these rural issues because everything they know about about farmers & ranchers is based on outdated stereotypes popularized by t.v. & movies.

...And they use these stereotypes to encourage apathy for rural Americans - especially to justify the abuse of the ones who are victims of the federal bootprint.

"Bundy stills owes a million dollars in grazing fees"

...The writer who penned this HCN article also chose to ignore that there are published documents showing that Bundy owed less than $9,000.

The BLM wouldn't take his money unless be agreed to graze less cattle -- which would not be enough cows to retain his water rights.

Instead, Bundy paid around $6,000 to the state - the state then cashed and reissued a check back to Bundy - which he never cashed.

Other documents exposed in the trial were the threat assessments that the government denied even existed... until five of them - from five different government agencies - were found and showed that the Bundys were NOT a threat.

- yet they were held in prison for two years while being stripped and body searched several times a day even when kept in isolation.

And since the threat assessments had assessed the Bundys as not a threat... what was the purpose of putting up a roadblock to prevent them from going to meet the sheriff in Grant county?

Were they on the BLM's "kill list" that was leaked in the 18 page email by BLM whistleblower Larry Wooten?

And is that same "kill list" the reason why the FBI asked the Oregon state police to NOT wear any body cameras during at roadblock where they killed Finicum - as stated in the recently released court document?

And why those officers were interviewed UNRECORDED as a group instead of individually by the investigator?

What was the reason that there were thousands of FBI agents for 24 protesters in Malheur during the protest? How many FBI were at Ferguson or Occupy Oakland?

Does it have anything to do the fact that the underneath the Hammond's ranch on the Steens Mountains there is a 5 mile long belt of high grade uranium ???

Look it up to see for yourself "Mineral Resource of the High Steens/Little Blitzen River Gorge"









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